‘Mira Fuchs‘ is a performance that promises ‘an eyeful’ and delivers an ontological quandary. At least that was how my plus one and I felt after attending the thought-provoking performance at North Melbourne’s Arts House.
The performance by Melanie Jame Wolf invites audience members to share an intimate experience with Mira, Wolf’s alter ego from her days as a stripper, alongside thirty other audience members seated in a circle. Yes, you will be asked to participate, but only with permission. And there are rules…
If this sounds provocative, well, it is. The performance itself seems intentionally so; but not, my plus one and I agreed, with the intention to titillate (well, not entirely). Instead, ‘Mira Fuchs’ challenges binary arguments around stripping. Is it a reclamation of a disempowering act — or an irreparably objectifying performance?
The answer, as the performance so expertly illustrated, is not so simple. Each section of the performance dealt with the various paradoxes inherent to the industry. Mira’s ‘sexy scientist’ lecture (complete with tactical diagrams on her handy whiteboard) illustrated the power play between men as they jostled for social primacy in the context of a sexual economy. Her strangely intimate lap dances, whilst illustrating the detached and faceless nature of the act, simultaneously spoke of dedication — but also how if appropriately received (as some audience members palpably demonstrated) how a lapdance could become deeply personal.
‘Mira Fuchs’ is a thoroughly enjoyable (hilarious even) night out. What are you waiting for, kids? Kick your slippers off and get down to Arts House before the season ends this Sunday the 12th of June. This one’s really going to get you thinking.
Ruth Saxon is an Arts Management student, when she’s not learning about critical writing she’s avoiding it by…engaging in some recreational critical writing.